Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has written to Union Home Minister Amit Shah stating he would never imagine even in his dream to insult icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.
The governor is facing flak from the Opposition for his comments that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is an "icon of olden times", triggering calls for his removal from office. "I cannot even imagine in my dreams to insult icons like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratap and Shri Guru Govind Singh. You are aware that I do not hesitate to express regrets or apologise immediately even if I unintentionally made a mistake," Koshyari stated in the letter addressed to Shah dated December 6.
The governor also taunted former Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray without taking his name. "When some big personalities were staying at home during the Covid-19 pandemic, I, irrespective of my age, walked up to the high altitude forts in Maharashtra on my feet. I did not use a helicopter or any vehicle to reach the top," he stated. The governor said some portions of one of his speeches delivered at a university event were selectively picked and used for creating controversy.
"Some people took a portion of my entire speech at a university, out of the context for criticism. With a reference to the past icons, I was presenting the current eminent personalities who could be the inspiration for the youth," he stated.
Speaking at an event in Aurangabad city after conferring D.Litt degrees on senior BJP leader Nitin Gadkari and NCP chief Sharad Pawar in November, Koshyari said, "Earlier, when you would be asked who is your icon, the answers would be Jawaharlal Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Mahatma Gandhi."
"In Maharashtra, you need not look elsewhere (as) there are so many icons here. While Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is of olden times, there are Ambedkar and Nitin Gadkari".